President Barack Obama and
Judge Merrick Garland. (AP)
(CNSNews.com) -- Announcing his selection of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Merrick B. Garland for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, to replace the recently deceased Judge Antonin Scalia, President Barack Obama said he did not make his decision “lightly,” and that the process required him to set aside “narrow politics so as to maintain faith with our founders.”
Supreme Court justices are “charged with the essential task of applying principles put to paper more than two centuries ago to some of the most challenging questions of our time,” said Obama in his introductory statement about Judge Garland.
“So this is not a responsibility that I take lightly,” said the president. “It's a decision that requires me to set aside short-term expediency and narrow politics so as to maintain faith with our founders and perhaps more importantly with future generations.”
Later in his remarks, Obama said, “[I]t is tempting to make this confirmation process simply an extension of our divided politics, the squabbling that's going on in the news every day. But to go down that path would be wrong. It would be a betrayal of our best traditions and a betrayal of the vision of our founding documents.”
Antonin Scalia served on the Supreme Court from 1986 until early February 2016; he died on Feb. 13 at the age of 79.
Merrick B. Garland, 63, is the chief justice of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was reared in Illinois and is married and has two daughters.
According to the White House website, “Judge Garland has dedicated his life to serving the American people, taking on some of the most difficult anti-terrorism cases in our nation’s history. In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, he led the investigation and prosecution that ultimately brought Timothy McVeigh to justice.”